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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  July 27, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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most active, bustling cities in the world. of course it's easier if you hold an olympic games in the middle of nowhere. >> there's a guy called mitt romney who wants to know whether we're ready. are we ready? yes, we are! >> wow. getting called out in front of 60,000 people, that's got to hurt. back here at home, republicans have been forced to admit things haven't gone so well for romney across the pond. >> got stuck making a comment that the brits took as an insult. he walked it back pretty quickly, but nonetheless the damage was done. >> when romney answered and that question is unbelievable. it's beyond human understanding. i'm out of adjectives. all the man has to do is say nothing. >> republicans just wanted romney to say nothing.
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well, he's been good at that so far. he said nothing about his tax returns. he said nothing about his actual policies. he said nothing about what he would do as president. yet he goes to england and promptly insults the country. and it's not the first time. in his 2010 book "no apology" romney said quote, england is just a small island. its roads and houses are small with few exceptions. it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. apparently the people of britain aren't buying what romney's selling. we'll see in november if the american people feel the same way. joining me now is crystal ball and turray. thanks for joining me. nice having you on the show. >> don't worry about turray.
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it's crystal time. >> what have you learned from romney's european vacation so far? >> i have to say, he did exceed even my expectations on this trip. i figured there would be something that came out of the international trip that we could classify as a gaffe. i didn't think it would happen so quickly and i didn't think he would so successfully insult an entire nation. really the speed and the depth and the breadth of the gaffe was big to me. >> you couldn't make this up. for a guy in less than 48 hours being gone to offend everybody in the country. >> it takes nothing to go to england on the eve of the olympics and say good job. i did this. oh, wait. look at me. i did this. you guys are doing great. the best analogy i read today, who was it talking about it's like a sprint. all you have to do is run ahead and win the race. that's the diplomatic challenge going to england on the
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olympics. instead of running straight ahead, he tackles the guy next to him. this is a dream trip for the obama people. >> well, when you look at the quotes from tweets at the romney shambles hash tag, it says romney retroactively cancels visit to london. this is what happens when you send mitt romney to a place where the trees aren't the right height. mitt has proven that only his money is fit to leave the u.s. i like the last one. >> this is what he proved. that he has poor people skills. he doesn't know how to interact with people. >> corporations of people. >> he knows how to relate to corporations, right? but the american people and just human beings can say when a person doesn't relate to people. they can pick up on that quickly. >> i think in all seriousness, though, that he responded as a ceo. he went right to his ceo thing of this is how i ran the
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olympics in his own mind. and he started critiquing it. he doesn't think like a diplomat or a commander in chief or president or politician. he thinks as a businessman. so let me give you my appraisal. that's where he went. >> i think you're right. he was guinn the question and there was a sense that he wanted to get an "a" on the answer and show he prepped and knew what was going on. and he's got inside knowledge. like a ceo like you're saying. and in doing that had no sense of the impact it would have on people, the way they would respond. just imagine if someone from another country came here and insulted our preparation for the olympics. if they did that in salt lake city, i'm sure he wouldn't have liked it up. but that doesn't occur to him. >> this is not the first time we've seen him insult his host. with the woman who made cookies. he said oh these are from
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7-eleven. insulting her. >> the woman who made the home made cookies. but he's trying to turn the page. he's on his way to poland and israel. let me show you where he's going. he says in an interview with an israeli noourp supporting bush's freedom agenda. quote, president obama urged hosni mubarak to move toward a more democratic posture. but president obama abandoned the freedom agenda. so he's trying to turn the page and get back on policy and try to get another headline going hard at president obama. >> you know, i found that a very unusual thing to say and a very unusual way to turn the page. because one of the knocks on romney's foreign policy bzs it being vague and undefined, he brought on all these neocons and that he's basically -- his foreign policy is going to be bush take two. that's been a criticism of his. and it seems in this quote he's embracing the idea that his
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foreign policy just as his economic policy is really no different than george w. bush. >> no. they were avoiding bush, but now he's embracing bush. but i guess when you get in trouble in england you have to do what you have to do. >> it's better than insulting an entire nation. >> you can understand this. because i think the best advice came from e.j. deon. he wrote in his column that the next phase of romney's foreign trip, he says sure he may get better press on the latter parts of the trip -- later parts of the trip. perhaps he'll score some political points in poland and israel. but on the whole and this is what i agree, i think romney will want to stay away from foreign policy. the more we talk about it, the better obama will do. one of the first laws of politics is the thing that your opponent is strong in, keep it off the table. >> try to turn it into a weakness. but you can't turn obama's foreign policy into a weakness. this is the first time in a long
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time i can remember that a democrat is super strong on foreign policy. that's something he can hold up as a trophy. this i did well. so romney stuck with let's keep it about jobs and economy. if you want to talk about bin laden, libya. i'm good with foreign policy. >> and the polls agree with him, president obama 47% say he's handing it better as opposed to 32% for mitt romney. >> right. >> it's not the thing you want to bring up if you're losing in that area by that margin. >> that's right. and i think karl rove used to have this idea of you attack your opponent on their strength. but that only works if you can do it successfully. and i think that was part of the goal of the trip and the other goal of the trip was to sort of travel the world and look presidential so the american people could imagine you as our leader as commander in chief.
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and i think he's undermined those goals. >> he can bring some comic relief to the campaign. >> great point. thank you so much for your time. enjoy your weekend. >> thank you. >> and catch "the cycle" week days here on msnbc. coming up, congressman eric cantor slams michele bachmann for promoting wild conspiracy theories. who am i kidding, he's cheering her on. plus mr. romney's accomplished something no presidential challenger has done in 20 years. here's a hint, it has to do with like about. >> pro, he's not newt gingrich, ron paul, or rick santorum. con, he's mitt romney. also, washington's gone to the dogs and so has this thief.
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hasn't he heard of a doggie bag? you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc. [ donovan ] i hit a wall. and i thought "i can't do this, it's just too hard." then there was a moment. when i decided to find a way to keep going. go for olympic gold and go to college too. [ male announcer ] every day we help students earn their bachelor's or master's degree for tomorrow's careers. this is your moment. let nothing stand in your way. devry university, proud to support the education of our u.s. olympic team.
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the number two republican in the house says the witch hunt against muslims in the government is just fine by him. it's amazing, but what is eric cantor really up to? stay with us. arthritis pain. a. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol.
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as we've been reporting, the british media is having a lot of fun at mitt romney's expense. but the problems across the pond point to a much bigger issue for him here at home. likability. who would voters rather have a drink of beer with? the simple stuff that can win and lose elections. for romney the latest news is not good. the new nbc polls show 40% of voters have negative feelings about romney. outweighing 35% with positive feelings. among undecided voters, it's even worse. romney's favorability is 16%
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compared to 44% unfavorability. to put this in perspective, you'd have to go back 20 years to find a nonincumbent candidate with such bad numbers. the summer before the election. in june 1992, bill clinton's negatives were eight points lower than his positives. mitt romney in 2012 is a little better, but not much. yes, clinton was able to turn it around by election day. but let's face it. mitt romney is not bill clinton. romney's been running for president for six years. but he thinks the real story about him hasn't been told yet. his wife likes him. >> i'll work as hard as i can on the likability piece. >> he seems a perfectly likable gentleman. i don't understand it. >> we'll get over that one.
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>> joining me now is former pennsylvania governor ed rendell. now an msnbc news political analyst. and erin mcpike reporter for real clear politics. thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> our pleasure. >> thank you. >> governor, let me start with you. how worried should romney and his campaign be about this likability factor? at which point does it become too late to change poplar opinion? >> well, it's not too late yet. but it's getting there. and he should be very worried. george bush beat al gore, he didn't win in the popular vote but was able to win the electoral college in great part not because the american people thought he was more competent to be president than al gore, but they thought he was more likable. sometimes the american people, al, they think i'm going to live with the president, president's going to be part of my life virtually every day, i'm going to see him on tv, et cetera. who do i want that person to be? that's president obama's long suit. people like him.
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they think he's a good guy. they think he's trying hard. unless he can turn that around, i don't think the tough issues of the economy can overcome it. >> now, erin, political analyst charlie cook, he wrote in the national journal these words. although the economy has gotten demonstrably worse since the start of the year, romney has made considerably less progress than one might have guessed. what seems to be holding romney back are voters' personal feelings toward him which are more negative than those faced by any of the past six non-incumbent nominees. that's a very strong statement there, erin. >> it is. but part of it is by design by the romney campaign. you hear the strategy coming from mitt romney's mouth himself in many interviews that he does. they don't expect that voters
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will pay attention to this election until after labor day. there is an opening for him to introduce himself in a broader way to the electorate, give sweeping speeches like at the convention and have a big 60-second bigraphical tv spot. it is something we talk about in the arena of politics. it's important. he introduces him to the swing states and many voters in a bigger, broader way. he can turn this around and clean it up and he probably will try to do that after labor day. >> but does -- labor day, let's go back to what you were saying governor rendell. is that too late? you said it's not too late there. it's getting there. can he continue with gaffes he's making, can he just play this out until labor day given the climate that he's creating for himself? >> i don't think so and i'll
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tell you why. none of these gaffes is a game changer. what he did insulting the british, that in itself is not a game changer. but it's cumulative. people begin too believe he can't handle himself. he's not someone we want to be the american president. he keeps making these gaffes. you get that reputation and it's there day after day after day, eventually it comes too late and people are going to say well, the debates and the convention speeches, those are structured. and it's okay. maybe he performs well on that. but when he's out there on his own, he's just not qualified to be president. so it's coming to the point, i don't think they've reached it yet. i think erin's right. but if this continues on through most of the summer, i'm not sure he can recover after labor day. remember, politics has changed. there's more emphasis because of the 24/7 news cycle on it than there has been before. if that reputation takes hold, it's hard to dig out. >> erin, when you also bring in
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the fact that many people are asking about his transparency in terms of his finances, his taxes. in fact, on the same new nbc wall street journal poll when questioned about the effective reports on mitt romney's tax returns, 32% more negative opinion. 4% more positive opinion. so if you add these factors, he's going to have a lot to turn around. >> he is. but once again the calculation is come labor day, people aren't going to be talking about this. that is their kolglation. whether it works or not, it's hard to tell. that's what they say. you have to take the romney campaign at their word. this is their strategy. we'll see. >> now, governor let me ask this. debates. how important are the debates, and can he use the debates to
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help turn things around? many feel president obama is an excellent debater and frankly i didn't see that much in the debates in the primaries from romney that would make me think that he's got some surprise in store. but i could be wrong. >> well, i thought he performed pretty well in the debates and primaries. i thought he won 16 out of the 17 republican debates. i thought the only one he did poorly in was south carolina. and they're good forms for him. it's structured. he's disciplined. he's taught the 90 second response and he sticks to it. he speaks with conviction and looks pretty good. so yeah. i think he'll also have going for him that expectation game. so the expectation is that he's going to clean the floor with mitt romney. if romney hangs in there, i think it will be a bit of a positive. again, i think the debates are positive. they're very important.
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can they turn around an image of a guy when he's on his own is a doofus. it's close to the point of no return. if that's his strategy, i don't know if they can overcome it. if august is like july, i think it might be too late. >> well, we'll see. i wasn't impressed with his debate performances, but we'll see. governor rendell, erin mcpike, thank you for joining me tonight. and have a great weekend. >> you too. ahead, is the cantor-boehner relationship on the rocks? and is michele bachmann to blame? i'll explain. plus a florida republican party chair says his party actively tried to suppress the black vote. that explosive story is next. eat good fats.
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we have breaking news tonight on voting rights. new revelations, shocking revelations from a top republican admitting the republican efforts to suppress black votes. jim greer chaired the florida republican party from 2006 to
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2010. in a newly released deposition reported by the tampa bay times, greer talked about gop leaders meeting to discuss ways they could suppress black votes. he describes a december 2009 meeting quote, i was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. it had been one of those days. end of quote. fellow republicans including the consultants that greer mentioned are denying his claim. i should note that jim greer is facing criminal charges for allegedly paying himself to raise money for the republican party. but his accusations are especially damning after the new voter laws in florida. and this year's gop voter purge there with l 87% of the voters
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targeted were minority. this is a disturbing story with national implications. and we're going to don't investigate it on this show monday. of more than 550 miles, you'll inevitably find yourself on a desolate highway in your jeep grand cherokee. and when you do, you'll be grateful for the adaptive cruise control that automatically adjusts your speed when approaching slower traffic. and for the blind spot monitoring that helps remind you that the highway might not be as desolate... ...as you thought. ♪ this is new york state. we built the first railway and the first trade route to the west. we built the tallest skyscrapers, the greatest empires. we pushed the country forward. then, some said, we lost our edge. we couldn't match the pace of the new business world.
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we're back on "politicsnation" with a major development today. a split in the republican party on an issue getting international attention. michele bachmann's been at the center of controversy for two weeks after she and four other house republicans accuse muslim-americans tied to the u.s. government of trying to spread muslim brotherhood beliefs. both sides of the aisle have come out against her including prominent republicans like speaker boehner. but today the house majority leader, the number two republican, refused to join them. >> do you think congresswoman bachmann was out of line? >> you know, again -- >> it does not square with this.
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>> again, i think if you read some of the reports that have covered this story, i think that her concern was about the security of the country. >> security of the country. folks, this is big. he's refusing to denounce the fear mongering. this is how speaker boehner put it. >> i think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous. >> the top two house republicans are clearly divided. and it could have major impart on the direction of the party. joining me now is melissa harris-perry host of "melissa harris-perry." first of all thanks to both of you for being here. >> thank you. good to be here. >> now, melissa, let me start with you. it looks like boehner and cantor are not on the same page with this. how do you think this is going to play out?
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>> well, you know, interestingly enough they are often not on the same page. even if you go to the debt ceiling crisis, boehner for all of the flaws and things, he's been an insider in washington, congress. he understands what it takes to pass legislation. even if it was legislation which i would disagree. cantor and the other tea party folks, they're there just to stop any government from happening. you see that in the moment when cantor is asked. come on, aren't you going to denounce what other folks in your party see as dangerous discourse fear mongering. he's like, no. their base is so tiny to which they are playing. >> e.j., the reason why i'm saying this is possibly a split and could be big is just last week eric cantor gave an interview to buzz feed and said this. i'm quoting what he said. it is absolutely wrong to
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stereotype or look badly at anyone because of their religion. it's a bad thing to look at a muslim and think bad things. again, we're all americans here and we share beliefs in freedom and the ability to practice our faiths. how do you square that up against what he said this morning where he refused to really denounce michele bachmann and the others and really said their concern was national security when in fact they did exactly what he said in his interview with buzz feed they ought not do. >> cantor who gave the interview with buzz feed to have a conversation with cantor who gave the interview this morning. it was good he said those things to buzz feed. i got to say, i disagree with eric cantor on a lot of things, but i was surprised he went that route today. as melissa satd, there's a lot of politics inside that republican conference and there have been rivalry -- there's
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been a rivalry people talked about between boehner and cantor. but this is not one he should play games on. i mean, when -- at the center of this was huma abedin, the longtime aide to hillary clinton. and john mccain bless him said what he needed to say. it was an unwarranted attack on a dedicated american and loyal servant. these attacks, we should put ourselves in other people's shoes. i am a catholic. does that mean i couldn't have served in the state department when there was a fight between catholics and protestants? i'm white. does that mean i couldn't advise our country when in south africa? my ancestors come from quebec, does that mean i couldn't advise on canadian policies. >> i think it's deeper than that, melissa. i agree with e.j., but i think it's deeper than that. they're not saying because they are muslim. they're accusing them of being
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connected to the muslim brotherhood. >> absolutely. two things. one, the eric cantor that said to buzz feed we shouldn't judge someone negatively because of their religion was the eric cantor not of freedom and civil liberties and american conservativism, it was the eric cantor who knew he had a mormon candidate running for president of the united states. when eric cantor says we should look at people and not judge them because of their religion, he's saying to his evangelical base don't judge mitt romney because he is a man of faith within the church of latter day saints. when he says it's okay to think this about this woman and about other muslim-americans within our government system, he's saying this isn't about religion, it's about identity. >> isn't it also fair to say it also may be about his fight with boehner? because in the statement he also says that it's all right -- it is wrong for us to look at
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muslims and think bad things. so he went beyond where you would go if he was covering just romney. he actually preached we can't look at muslims and think bad. then the next week flips. so was it he was really taking a shot at boehner and them more than he was protecting romney the week before? >> quite possibly all those things. that's what makes gop politics at this moment fascinating. i think they're more divided than we give them credit for. >> e.j., the right wing commentators are running with this story. and they're using it to scare members in their own party. let me show you this. >> michele bachmann's under heavy fire right now. by the way, it's ticking me off. attacking michele bachmann and three other house republicans and louie gohmert who called for an investigation into radical islamic infiltration potentially in the obama administration. and they're starting to look like modern-day paul reveres in
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one sense based on the evidence we're getting. >> i warn you, if you do not take the muslim brotherhood seriously and help people like michele bachmann stand in this battle, they will pick them off one at a time. >> now, e.j., hannity's getting ticked off. an you got a warning from glenn beck. if you're a republican member of congress, that's serious. >> notice how insidious this is. the link to the muslim brotherhood is assumed. there is no link to the muslim brotherhood. >> at all. >> it's not paul revere. it's mccarthy. and going back to the joe mccarthy period, it is worth remembering that there were -- >> joe mccarthy. >> not paul and not gene. joe. and when mccarthy was making wild charges about this or that person being a communist when they weren't, a lot of honorable
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republicans stood up. i think mccain and boehner are in that tradition. again, it's hard other than internal republican politics to explain why cantor would not want to be on that side of this question. >> thanks for your time tonight. catch melissa filling in for rachel maddow tonight here on msnbc. coming up, late night comedians are thanking willard romney for all the material. but can punch lines have a real impact on campaigns? and remember the smoking 2-year-old baby? well, he's got some competition now. you won't believe who picked up the habit. your summer break is up next. ashley was not only my little sister, she was a best friend.
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she was very giggly. if you could get her to laugh really hard, she would even snort sometimes. it was so funny. this is the text from me that my sister was reading. right before she flipped her car and was killed on impact.
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this is the text from me that my sister was reading. ♪ atmix of energies.ve the world needs a broader that's why we're supplying natural gas to generate cleaner electricity... that has around 50% fewer co2 emissions than coal. and it's also why, with our partner in brazil, shell is producing ethanol - a biofuel made from renewable sugarcane. >>a minute, mom! let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go. we're back with a pause from the political battles of the day. a time to relax, to rest, relax and recharge. that's right. it's time for the "politicsnation" summer break. we start tonight with a little "politicsnation" traffic report from dubai. when everything looks to be
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moving smoothly, wait a second. what's that camel merging into the hov lane? and would you look at that? his taillight is out. meanwhile, in ukraine, they're working with a little more horse power. no, no. don't adjust your television sets. this is the back end of a car being led by a horse. folks, this is what it might look like if willard romney let detroit go bankrupt. and back here in the states, things have gone to the dogs. take a look at someone stealing a puppy by shoving it down his pants. investigators are asking a lot of questions. including this one. >> who let the dogs out? >> and just when i thought i'd seen it all, there's an
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indonesian orangutan smoking a cigarette. torry picked up the habit after zoo goers started throwing butts into her cage. now the zoo is forced to give the orangutan cold turkey. but the 2-year-old recently broke his pack a day habit. that's today's summer break. an accident doesn't have to slow you down. with better car replacement available only with liberty mutual auto insurance, if your car's totaled, we give you the money for a car one model year newer. to learn more, visit us today.
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responsibility. what's your policy?
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we're back with more of the fallout from willard romney's european adventure. the late night comedians are having all kinds of fun at his expense. sometimes punch lines can have a very real impact on campaigns. just ask mitt romney about his gold medal gaffe. >> america's crowned prince of
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running for president mitt romney. he's on the first leg of his world charm offensive. >> and while he's in these foreign countries plans to visit his money. >> he will attend the olympics opening ceremony. it's going to be weird when they're announcing the countries and he's like got one bank a account there, got one there. >> he plans to take his tax returns and drop them into the torch. >> mitt grabbed england by the crumpits. >> saying the british seemed unprepared for the olympics. putting the foot in his mouth like that is not very presidential. vice presidential, sure. not presidential. >> joining me now is comedian and tv personality chuck nice and you know him from shows like "best week ever." and kristina freeland. good to have you with us. >> good to be here.
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>> let me start with you. comedians owe romney a big thank you guard. >> a huge debt of gratitude. i've got to say it's nice. i am supporting barack obama let me just say that because i'd love to see the country move forward. on the other hand i feel like i'm a double agent because i would love to see mitt romney be president because he's great for my business. you don't even have to write jokes, you just have to report. >> now, he's quite -- christie, he's just quite unbelievably set for comedians. you couldn't have gotten a better candidate for the comedy business, i would suppose. >> well, he's making british politicians look like comedians now. boris johnson the mayor of london is making joke after joke based on romney's comments in england. >> now, do you think that the
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fact that these jokes are continuing it will make him look less presidential and less serious? >> i think it's a real problem, actually. and i think particularly because i think the danger for mitt romney is that he gets pegged as someone who is just uncomfortable in his own skin. someone who is gaffe prone. someone who can't handle himself in the world because he's too stiff. you know, it's sort of the john terry situation. and that can have a really powerful effect on the polls. >> how can he turn it around? is there a way to make himself less of a target for this? >> yeah, absolutely. what the republican national convention has to do is come up with a serum that they can give him like they gave to the nutty professor to turn him into buddy love. because that's really the only thing that's going to help him. he can't -- the problem is he's unaware. like george bush made gaffes, but you could see him make a
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gaffe and like, i can't believe i said that. he was aware. >> sort of laugh along with you. >> fool me once, shame on you. fool me twiens, hey we won't get fooled again. you know? and he kind of knew what he was doing. whereas romney is completely unaware. my favorite clip you guys played is where he's with these young african-american women and he's so uncomfortable it's who let the dogs out. that's his identification with black people? who let the dogs out? seriously? he may as well said you guys got chicken? that's how uncomfortable he is. >> let me play another sound bite of how he's a favorite target of late night comedians. let me play this for you. because i just want to give you an idea of how bad it is. and then i want to play the tape
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of president obama because he's not completely off the hook either. they're taking a couple shots at him. let me play both of them 3. >> mitt romney is saying president obama is not keeping his campaign promises. i thought well wait a minute. maybe east got a point. we found some videotape that may be pretty damning on this front. roll the videotape. >> during the 2008 campaign barack obama made the following promise. >> i'll have money in the budget to buy letterman a decent hairpiece. >> shame on you, mr. president. >> i'm mitt romney and i approved this message. >> well we don't have much on president obama, unfortunately for romney. but we have plenty on romney. but again, i think most of us feel that romney is just more of an easy shot, if i would say it.
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or for comedians. >> definitely. obama when you make fun of him, the thing is that inherent in making fun of him, you still have to acknowledge that he's cool. he wears mom jeans but he walks in them like he's wearing prada. he sings to a crowd and they slammed him for that. but when you see him singing to crowd and the women scream it's like that's cool. >> you can come across as authentic without being cool. chris christie is the opposite of cool but comes across as a likable, authentic politician. i think a problem for romney is in some ways the flip side of his virtue. he has been incredibly disciplined and in some way incredibly on message. think about how he ran that primary campaign. actually admirable from the pure political mechanics. but i think it makes you uneasy about -- he's afraid of exposing himself. >> let me ask you before we have to go. when you watch romney, are you thinking while watching him of what joke to tell?
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>> i don't have to think of what joke to tell. he writes them for me on the spot. i mean, you know, this is a guy who honestly when he says things you're like what? when he becomes president, the only person that could relate to him is someone with a top hat and a monocle. that's the way he come office. you don't have to think of jokes. you just say okay i'm going write that down because that was good. >> well, let me thank both of you. chrystia i did not know you were wearing orangutan when i made the joke. thank you both for joining us. have a nice weekend. still ahead, the first lady, spongebob squarepants and best wishes to the athletes at the olympic games. stay with us. [ female announcer ] the power to become a better investor has gone mobile.
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tonight the eyes of the world are on london where athletes across the globe are gathering for the opening of the 2012 olympics. first lady michelle obama is there trying to loosen up competitors before the big games. everyone cheering them on as well. she had a morning with kids in london. and a few minutes earlier, the first lady gave team usa some pep talk. >> i know how hard time you put in to be who you are. it's no small feat at all. this only happens every so many years. try to have fun. try to breathe a bit. but also win, right? in the end winning is good.
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>> this year 538 u.s. athletes are competing in the games. some are already superstars like michael phelps or ryan lochte. own jordan weber. all hoping to lead american teams to gold. but of course all of these athletes are already winners. but many like bronx new york native john orosco have overcome obstacles to make it all the way to london. >> a lot of people try to take it and turn it into something to break you down. but i said to myself they can throw all the negativity they want at me. i don't love them. i love my sport. >> and marlin esparsa is competing in women's boxing, an
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official olympic sport for the first time. >> amateur boxing isn't about beating somebody up. it's about being quicker and about being smarter. and, you know, using trickery and being intuitive. it's not about smashing somebody's face in. you can be a beast in the ring and step out and be just as pretty as the next girl. >> and we'll all be rooting for swimmer eric shanto, a cancer survivor who returned to the 2012 olympics after his 2008 diagnosis. i learned from a boxer many years ago that you don't win the fight in the ring. i was in the jogging and one morning he was training i said why do you run and run and run even when you're already in top shape? he said you don't win the fight in the ring. you win it preparing. you win it in leading up to it. these competitors are are
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already champions in my book. they won it getting to london. i think getting a gold or something there only gives them a commendation for the effort. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. london bridges falling down. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews up in new york. let me start tonight with the latest romney gaffe. did you hear the one about the big shot american who visits other countries and gets everybody mad about the guy who complains about the french waiters, who says it smells in venice. i could go on. but what about that guy who just told the british people that the london olympics look a bit dodgy? who got everybody over there so angry at him and us that they're more united than ever as a country. who is this clod, you must be asking.
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well, his name is mitt romney. and he has gotten the worse press in london since george w. mitt the twit invited the sun. who invited party pop poopy romney. how should we react to this kerfuffle? it seems this man who has trouble speaking earthling here at home, who talks of flying on an aircraft of marvelous budgets, of being a severe conservative can be just as awkward when acting the diplomat abroad. here is a question. if a gentleman is someone who doesn't insult someone unintentionally, then mitt romney with all his posh schooling has not been very much of a gentleman this weekend. and if this insult of the london olympics calling the preparations disconcerting was intentional, what is this guy up to? i thought he wanted to improve anglo-american relations, not trash them. let's hear from two british reporters who are covering this story. simon marks and chris ship of itv. let me go to simon. just tell me what is going on here. why are the american people and their special relations with

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